Moving abroad can be hard. You have to get used to not just talking in a different language, but also to the cuisine, culture, and way of life. It can be nerve-wracking, especially if you come from a country so unlike the one you are moving to. This was the case for 21-year-old Siddhi Mahatole, who hails from India.
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program participant was placed at West Liberty University, West Virginia’s oldest public institution of higher learning — and what would turn out to be a place of self-growth and countless fun memories for her.
As someone who was brought up in the spice capital of the world, it took Mahatole some time to get used to American cuisine. She had to adjust to using new software too. Despite these initial challenges, she shares that WLU staff, faculty members, and students made the transition to college life smoother for her. “When people saw me on campus, they were sweet enough to talk to me first, which made me more comfortable,” she says.
Brazil-born Danielle Keller Vieira may have had her first semester fully online — still, she received the same WLU warmth. “It was very challenging for me because I was one of the only students who were taking my classes online, and most of my classes required hands-on learning, but my teachers made sure I was still getting the best education and full experience,” Vieira says.
Just like Mahatole, Vieira needed to adjust to the new food, culture, and routine when she finally arrived on campus, but thanks to the supportive staff and friends she made at WLU, she felt at home in no time at all.
Around 70 students from over 30 countries who attend WLU every semester can attest the same. To study at WLU is to live in a safe and friendly environment — the institution is highly ranked for safety (see NICHE.com) and employs professional campus police officers. This is important because the less stressed international students are about attending college in the US, the likelier they are to succeed academically — and WLU provides the programmes and resources for this.
The Rollie Williams International Center, for example, hosts activities for cultural exchange — Culture Fair, International Tea Time and Food Festival, multicultural presentations and workshops — both on campus and within the Appalachian community. Over at the new “International Center,” students are offered various support services and unique programs to address international student needs. Students also have access to full use of a prayer/meditation room, a full kitchen with cooking equipment, study rooms, student lounges, computer rooms, and many more.
There are also weekly shopping trips and area exploration trips for international students to enjoy alongside local students such as going bowling, watching movies, exploring Pittsburgh, Columbus, seeing Niagara Falls, and trick- or- treating and other local traditions.
On the academic front, students are free to choose from more than 70 accredited degree programmes — all backed by WLU’s legacy of excellence in education. At this university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), students get guidance from distinguished lecturers and access to world-class facilities. If they need to improve their writing skills, tutors are on hand to teach rhetorical principles that not only help students to approach the task at hand, but also transfer across different courses and writing assignments.
Such features allow undecided students to explore different careers, engage in internships, and gain the skills they need to succeed on the career path they discover here.
More than 60 majors and 30 programmes can be studied at WLU, most notably; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts/Science in Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Community Education Programme, and Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Graduate programmes include Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Athletic Training, and Master of Business Administration (MBA).
What sets WLU apart, though, is that it has small classes and a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. This helps professors focus their attention on individuals that may need more help. Indeed, WLU strives to make education accessible to everyone — the university also offers several degree completion programmes for non-traditional students, one of which is the accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Administration (BLA) degree.
WLU is also known for its stellar online courses — the MBA, for example, was designed specifically for the working professional. Depending on the student’s preference or needs and course schedule, the MBA with a concentration in management can be completed in as little as 12 months, either Online or In-seat. Students can enroll for two courses per seven-week term or at a slower pace in one year and eight months, taking one course in each seven-week term. The MBA with a concentration in accounting on the other hand, can be completed over a 20-month schedule.
Apply now to attend West Liberty University and find out more about all the programs they offer here.
Follow West Liberty University on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok.